Chapter 3.4.3 Age of Majority

Age of Majority

ICJ Rule 5-101 (7) provides clear guidance regarding how state laws addressing age of majority should be applied in transfer of supervision cases.  It states: “The age of majority and duration of supervision are determined by the sending state.  Where circumstances require the receiving court to detain any juvenile under the ICJ, the type of secure facility shall be determined by the laws regarding the age of majority in the receiving state.”   ICJ Rule 5-101(7) (Interstate Comm’n for Juveniles 2024)

It is also important to note, that the length of supervision and the age of majority are determined under the laws of the sending state.  Consequently, a receiving state may be required to supervise a person over the age of 18 as a juvenile if a sending state provides for such a classification.  This remains the case even if the juvenile would be treated as an adult under the laws of the receiving state.  It is the age of majority determination of the sending state that sets the status of the juvenile notwithstanding any difference with the laws of the receiving state. Id. at Rule 5-101.  The sending state’s classification of juveniles who are treated as adults by court order, statute, or operation of law will also be dispositive of whether the ICJ or the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS) will be applicable to any transfer of supervision from the sending state to a receiving state. Cf. Goe v. Comm’r of Prob., 46 N.E.3d 997, 999 (Mass. 2016).

In summary, when determining whether an individual is eligible for transfer of supervision, the laws of the sending state are determinative.  For a discussion of issues concerning age of majority in relation to detention pending a return, see discussion infra Section 4.8.